NEWS – CYCA Medical Management for Mariners course

NEWS - CYCA Medical Management for Mariners course

Matt Allen, Commodore and Chairman of Sydney’s Cruising Yacht Club of Australia (CYCA) SOLAS Trusts, has launched the CYCA Medical Management for Mariners Course (MMM), with the first to be held from Tuesday, October 6, 2009.

The CYCA MMM course has been developed in conjunction with St Vincent’s Hospital, and is a major initiative funded by the CYCA SOLAS Trusts in line with one of its objectives of funding research and training to improve safety and rescue procedures and equipment used in ocean races.

This specialist course has been designed for sailors to manage medical emergencies when paramedic and medical assistance is not at hand. It aims to provide sailors and others with additional skills and knowledge to assist them in assessing and providing immediate and longer term management for casualties and illness in the marine environment.

The course, which will be presented by leading medical professionals, provides both theoretical and practical sessions.

Theoretical topics covered include: medical and casualty management in the marine environment; seasickness; haemorrhage and wound management; anaphylaxis; chest trauma; shock; diabetes; diving accidents; exposure; head injuries; marine envenomation; fracture management; pharmacology, and more.

Practical sessions will give instruction and the opportunity to practice a range of skills from giving injections and catheterisation through to dealing with serious injuries including broken limbs and even amputations.

The inaugural course will commence on October 6 and conducted over seven weeks (three hours each Tuesday evening) at the Don Harrison Patient Care Simulation Centre at St Vincent’s Hospital, Darlinghurst, followed by a final hands-on session on board a yacht at the CYCA.

The cost of this course is $550 for CYCA members and $600 for non-CYCA members.

“On behalf of the Cruising Yacht Club of Australia, I would like to encourage CYCA members, offshore yachtsmen and holders of a Senior First Aid certificate, who have a desire to extend their skills, to undertake the CYCA Medical Management for Mariners Course, which is an important development within the yachting community,” said Commodore Allen.

“The CYCA SOLAS Trusts supported the development of this course as it met one of the Trusts core objectives of funding research and training to improve safety and rescue procedures and equipment used in ocean races,” he concluded.

An integral part of the CYCA MMM course involves using SimMan, a programmable mannequin that can simulate a number of injuries, something seasoned sailor Andrew Jackson found invaluable during the pilot course.

“I thought it was a fantastic course, well structured and is ideal for anyone who goes into the wilderness or out to sea. Having had the opportunity to practice the theory on SimMan, I have peace of mind that in a real-life situation I’m far better equipped,” Jackson said.

The course is the brainchild of the CYCA Cruising Committee, which has previously conducted Beyond First Aid information evenings with the assistance of a number of medical professionals from St Vincent’s Hospital, prior to the Rolex Sydney Hobart for a number of years.

CYCA said the need for such a course came about when those attending these evenings expressed their concerns to Cruising Captain John Keelty that the Senior First Aid course only covered the first 20 minutes or so before medical assistance arrived and therefore, did not impart sufficient knowledge for those at sea who could be hours or even days from any form of professional help other than radio assistance.

CYCA member, Dr Virginia Furner subsequently joined the Cruising Committee and together with Keelty approached St Vincent’s Hospital regarding the development of a course that would meet the needs of sailors at sea.
A working party was established with the late Professor Don Harrison (CYCA member), Dr Bob Wright from St Vincent’s Hospital
Cameron Edgar from Outdoor Access.
When funds were required, CYCA SOLAS Trusts stepped in to assist.

Applications are now invited for those wishing to undertake the inaugural CYCA Medical Management for Mariners course commencing on October 6. Applicants must hold a current Senior First Aid certificate and participants will receive a certificate of completion at the successful conclusion of the course. Numbers will be limited to ensure maximum hands-on experience.

To register your attendance, complete the enrolment form
and forward with payment to CYCA Reception by post or email to

Future course dates will be announced soon and a waitlist of applications will be maintained for those who miss out on attending the inaugural course.

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